Tips for Photographing a One Year Old


Josiah turns one!

And he was full smiles, with his gorgeous blue eyes. All we had to do was laugh and this little guy would join in immediately. He also loved dancing, dogs, and being naked - but wearing hats is definitely not on the top of the list. Believe me, we tried.

As you can see, I had such a blast photographing this little guy and his family. We even got to play in the gorgeous snow.

But before I show you a few of my favorites, here are a few tips for photographing little toddlers.

  1. It takes a little warming up. It can be unnerving for one-year-olds to be in front of a camera, especially when it is a stranger. But with a little dancing and singing, they will warm up in a few short shots. Sometimes I even play a game of hide-and-seek or tag - and this can be done in a studio or outside. Once they feel comfortable with the camera, their smiles will start shining!
  2. Be ready at every moment. We started our session in the studio. I had a few flashes set up, on very low powers to ensure that I would have quick shots. Because with these adorable one-year-olds, you have to be ready to capture a smile or their two front teeth without any notice. Photographing toddlers is much different that photographing adults or seniors - you can't direct them. You just have to play with them and wait for the perfect moment! It takes patience and sometimes a very quick shutter speed.
  3. Breaks are necessary. With this session, we spent about an hour and a half in the studio. That is a long time for a one year old! So to ensure that he was energized, we would take a few breaks here and there. Sometimes they were snack breaks, sometimes they were relax breaks. But this allowed us to have great shots throughout the entire session.
  4. Get on their level. To photograph toddlers, you almost need to become a toddler. You need to swoop down to their level to be able to focus on their eyes and create a connection with the camera. For a big part of this session, I was either on my knees or laying on my belly. That's how you get to see the world how they see it.
  5. Learn to make funny noises, and not feel weird about it. A lot of times, with toddlers I go through a variety of noises. I make cow noises, dog noises, loud noises, silly noises, frog noises - you name it! This is a quick way to grab their attention and make them giggle. Often times they will join you when you start barking. They love that so much! You just have to be ready to make a lot of different weird noises so they don't get too used to it. You need to entertain them!

Hope these helpful hints help during your next session! Let me know if you have any tips or ideas you like to use.

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